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My Experience at Burning Man 2010

I once went to a B.B. King concert, not because I'd ever owned a single song of his or had any familiarity with his music or his genre, but because I knew he was the best at what he did. In that same vein, I've always wanted to experience Burning Man, not because I care about hippies, techno music, drugs, or art, but because it's the biggest and best event of its kind in the world.

For years I intended to go to Burning Man, but the problem is that Burning Man requires a huge degree of preparation. As I found out firsthand, it's located in one of the least hospitable areas of the United States, which means that you need more stuff than you're used to needing (goggles, water, etc.), and you must provide it all yourself. So each year passed by with my intentions dissolving into the reality of a fast approaching deadline and not having prepared at all. But this year was different. A friend of mine took the initiative to rent a huge RV, recruit a Burning Man veteran to come with us, and generally organize the trip.

"Well," I thought, "it's never going to be easier than this. I may as well go."

Facing Fears Accelerates Growth

On Jennifer Davies Online

Last September to December I got to live my dream: I became a College Professor. Yet, if I had listened to any number of my fears, I could have talked myself out of even applying for the position let alone actually meeting this challenge.

For 20 years I've been passionate about teaching and this course seemed like a perfect fit as it would incorporate both career coaching and student success strategies, two topics near and dear to me. Add to that this goal was suddenly in reach years before I expected as normally one needs a Master’s degree (which I don't have). I learned firsthand how much fear can be generated when your highest dream for yourself is within reach.

What if I failed? I had never previously taught full semester courses on my own having instead focused on workshops, guest speaking, video tutorials, or helping people one-on-one. If I failed this wouldn't just impact me, but my students as well.

Also, I had no experience with grading papers. How would I do this fairly? And what about creating three hours of content every week? When I applied and accepted the position I didn't know if I'd be given resources or if I'd need to create the course from scratch.

Even logistical matters were a source of fear. After a lifetime of being fearful of driving I had previously faced that fear and got my full G driver's license just two months earlier. As a new driver, how would I handle commuting the notoriously scary 401 each day, 1.25+ hours each way? What about when the weather turned colder in November and December?

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